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I wasn't in Hall H at Comic-Con when the brand-new trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiered, but I'm pretty sure how I can guess how it went. There were really loud screams when the trailer started. There were even louder screams when Liam Hemsworth's Gale first appeared, and kissed Katniss right there onscreen. And then the roof probably caved in when Sam Claflin first appeared as Finnick, not just giving the sly FInnick grin, but doing it completely shirtless. The image above allows you to recreate that moment over and over again as much as you like-- so long as your roof is strong enough to withstand the screaming. (Click here to see it even bigger).
OK, fine, you can also relive the shirtlessness in motion by watching the trailer below-- Finnick shows up at the 1:49 mark. Because of the kind of burlap skirt he's wearing, does he not kind of look like a centaur at first glance? Just me?
The new trailer really isn't all that different from the first trailer that debuted in the spring, with the same emphasis on the political uprising that Katniss has inadvertently inspired and a complete refusal to show off any footage from inside the arena (that seems to be an ongoing theme in the Hunger Games series so far). But, as I wrote during the Comic-Con frenzy, I was also impressed by the barefaced politics of the film, and how strong the imagery of the popular uprising is. We're not that far away from Occupy Wall Street here in America, and we're witnessing the complete overthrow of a series of governments in the Middle East, for good or for bad. When American blockbusters get political they tend to get a little mealy-mouthed about it (think of the way the Iron Man movies start critiquing the military-industrial complex but then pay lavish attention to gigantic battles). Of course, Catching Fire has its own mealy-mouth problems as well-- a partnership with Subway in a story about a heroine whose family has frequently starved is just the start-- but to put such bold statements in a trailer, especially one that showed in the middle of the PR orgy that is Comic-Con, is impressive.
And now, to step off the political soapbox… how about that Finnick, eh? I've been a vocal Claflin skeptic ever since suffering through both the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie (you may have forgotten there was a fourth Pirates movie, but believe me, it was real) and Snow White and the Huntsman, both of which revealed Claflin as very handsome and very uncharismatic. But Finnick-- a fellow tribute in the Quarter Quell Hunger Games who is 100% dreamboat and gets 100% on Katniss's nerves-- is a great part for anyone willing to run with it, and these brief glimpses we've got from him seem to promise something livelier. Maybe not as lively as Finnick might be in your mind (author Suzanne Collins has surely sparked a lot of imaginations with the way she wrote him), but a lot more fun than boring old Peeta.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes to theaters on November 22. The marketing onslaught-- and the shirtless Claflin images-- have barely begun.